Lawmaker files resolution seeking to extend validity of ABS-CBN's franchise until 2022

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2020 11:27 PM | Updated as of Feb 25 2020 06:08 PM

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center, Sgt Esguerra, Diliman, Quezon City, Feb. 11, 2020. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - Cebu City 1st District Rep. Raul del Mar has filed a resolution seeking to extend the validity of ABS-CBN Corp's broadcast franchise until 2022, it was learned Tuesday.

"This will enable Congress to discharge its constitutional duty of protecting public interest in the grant and repeal of franchises, without trampling on rights to due proess and infringing on free pressand free speech,” House Joint Resolution 28 says.

Del Mar filed the resolution on Feb. 18, 2020 and was referred to the Committee on Legislative Franchises during the plenary session Monday.

Del Mar told ABS-CBN News that he filed the resolution after he heard Sen. Franklin Drilon filed a similar measure in the Senate to give Congress ample time to tackle ABS-CBN's franchise.

"It was obvious already that the renewal franchise will not be finished before the break," Del Mar said.

Filing a joint resolution to let ABS-CBN continue its operations has a better chance of getting approved, Del Mar said.

"This is the next best thing to express the sense of Congress that we allow ABS-CBN to continue operations until such time it can make its final decision on the matter," he added.

The House of Representative has yet to act on 11 measures that seek to renew ABS-CBN's franchise, all of which are pending in the Committee of Legislative Franchises.

ABS-CBN's current franchise will expire on May 4, 2020.